14 May 2020

US president urged to relax fishing restrictions in the Pacific

4:23 pm on 14 May 2020

The council that governs US fisheries in the western Pacific is asking president Donald Trump to relax rules around fishing in protected areas.

US Raffaello alongside mother ship Tai Fu No1.

US Raffaello alongside mother ship Tai Fu No1. Photo: Supplied

Mr Trump this week signed an executive order which promotes growth in the American seafood industry, and has sought feedback on what regulations should go.

In a letter, the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council describes the marine reserves around Hawaii and American Samoa as putting the US at a disadvantage against other Pacific countries.

More than 51 percent of US waters in the Pacific are marine reserves, an area dramatically expanded by the Obama administration.

But the council said this has left Hawaii longliners struggling, while American Samoa's tuna cannery - the territory's largest employer, responsible for one-third of GDP - is operating far from full capacity.

It said it wants fishing restrictions lifted in marine reserves.

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